Calgary

Nenshi requests forensic investigation after private Olympic meeting leak

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is keen on sniffing out the individual, or people, responsible for revealing closed-door meeting details and documents to the media.

Calgary mayor keen on finding out who is responsible for revealing documents to the media

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi takes leaks at city hall 'very, very seriously.' (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is keen on sniffing out the individual, or people, responsible for revealing closed-door meeting details and documents to the media.

Last week, CBC News obtained documents revealing that administrators told councillors there are costs above and beyond the estimated $5.2 billion the Calgary bid exploration committee outlined in its draft hosting plan.

At Monday's council meeting, Coun. Jeromy Farkas asked his colleagues to change their Sept. 10 vote to keep the documents — revealed in CBC's reporting — secret. He wanted to publicize the information so that there can be a more "fact-based" discussion.

"I think that if there is information that we can release, I would rather us go down that road," said Farkas.

In response, the mayor said he'd like to launch a formal investigation into how those documents made it to the media in the first place.

"I will be writing to the integrity commissioner asking for a full investigation," said Nenshi.

"I will be asking the integrity commissioner to use his full authority to conduct that investigation, which includes a forensic audit of [councillor] devices — personal and city-owned."

'I take this very, very seriously'

The mayor encouraged councillors to look at their code of conduct, as well as their obligations under the Municipal Governance Act. He said everyone on the council floor has a moral obligation to keep confidential items that council votes on, confidential.

"I take this very, very seriously," said Nenshi.

Coun. Farkas' motion failed with only three councillors voting in favour of his request, but council will be speaking about leaks in a private session.

Farkas said he "categorically denies" leaking the documents, and that he doesn't understand the pushback against releasing the information.

"I'm just asking the city to be held to our word," he said.

City also investigating

City manager Jeff Fielding said he'll be directing corporate security to undertake an investigation of administration in regard to the leaked document.

The documents obtained by CBC News showed there are still some costs not calculated as part of the draft master hosting plan presented to council and revealed to Calgarians earlier this month.

For example, the vision for an athletes' village is planned for where the Victoria Park transit centre currently sits — but money to move those bus barns and clean up any environmental contamination on site, isn't included in the figure presented to the public.

The information was relayed to councillors and city administration in a closed meeting where they were told the extra cash would be money the city is "compelled to spend as a result of agreeing to host the Games."

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